STEPHEN FREARS is one of the UK's most critically-acclaimed directors who has
worked with some of the world's best talent both in front of and behind the
Most recently he worked with Michele Pfeiffer in ChĂ©ri, based on the French
novel by Colette, and Helen Mirren for his award winning film The Queen, for
which Helen received the Academy's Best Actress Award and Stephen was nominated
for numerous directing awards around the world, including an Academy Award,
and Golden Globe. The film also became a box office hit after its launch at the
Venice International Film Festival.
Frears began his career at London's Royal Court Theatre, where he worked with
director Lindsay Anderson, and moved into the film industry in 1966 as an
assistant director to Karel Reisz. In 1971 he made his directorial debut with
Gumshoe, a wry homage to film noir starring Albert Finney. After several
acclaimed television productions and the cult feature film The Hit, which
starred John Hurt and Tim Roth, his breakthrough came in 1985 with My Beautiful
Laundrette which launched the careers of Daniel Day-Lewis and writer Hanif
Kureishi (who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay).
Stephen and Hanif Kureishi reteamed on Sammy and Rosie Get Laid in 1987, which
like My Beautiful Laundrette looked at many of the issues that characterised
Britain in the 1980s.
Stephen went on to direct Prick Up Your Ears, about English playwright Joe
Orton, starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina, and then Dangerous Liaisons
written by Christopher Hampton and starring Michelle Pfeiffer, John Malkovich
and Glenn Close. An adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' caustic Les Liaisons
Dangereuses, the film triumphed at the Academy Awards in 1989 winning Best
Adapted Screenplay Academy Award, Best Costumes and Best Art Direction, as well
as nominations for Best Actress for Close, Best Supporting Actress for Pfeiffer,
Best Picture and Best Music.
Stephen was again nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director the following
year for The Grifters (1990) which starred John Cusack, Anjelica Huston and
Annette Bening. He then made Hero, starring Dustin Hoffman and Geena Davis, Mary
Reilly starring Julia Roberts and John Malkovich, and two low-budget adaptations
of novels by Roddy Doyle, The Snapper and The Van. Then came The Hi-Lo Country,
starring Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup, PenĂ©lope Cruz and Patricia Arquette, and
the acclaimed High Fidelity, based on Nick Hornby's popular novel and starring
John Cusack, Jack Black and Iben Hjejle.
He returned to the small screen in 2000 with Fail Safe starring George Clooney
and Harvey Keitel, and directed Liam in the same year. In 2002, his
drama-thriller Dirty Pretty Things was an arthouse and festival hit and launched
the career of Chiwetel Ejiofor as well as earning an Academy Award nomination
for Best Original Screenplay. The political drama The Deal which Frears made for
Channel 4 in 2003 paved the way for The Queen, and he followed that in 2005 with
the historical drama Mrs Henderson Presents which starred Judi Dench and Bob
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